afaqs! news bureau

Dove hacks casting calls, urges brands to cast women of diverse backgrounds, shapes and sizes…

… And adds that it will cover the appearance cost of these women if they are cast in any ads.

“I’m too dark. I’m too short. I’m too thick… I will not be a good fit.” The casting industry is a brutal world, where an imagined version of the ideal model has led to discrimination against women of various shapes and sizes. The unfortunate fact is that 70 per cent of women still do not feel represented by the industry.

To upend this toxicity in media and advertising, Unilever’s soap brand Dove partnered with Getty Images, Girlgaze, women and non-binary individuals everywhere to create Project #ShowUs in 2019. #ShowUs is a collection of 10,000-plus images that offer a more inclusive vision of beauty for all of media and advertisers to use.

This year (2021), Dove has decided to take a step further and infiltrate casting calls in its ‘It’s on Us’ campaign. Made by LOLA MullenLowe Madrid, Dove worked with various independent casting agencies to encourage brands to cast diverse set of women.

Dove had these women urge brands, in casting call videos, to “choose me to star in your ad.” Dove said it will cover the “appearance cost of our women in any campaign.”

Dove went to thank brands like Magnum, Krispy Kreme, Cif and Nedbank for casting the women in their ads.

“By giving the brands and companies the tools to show a more diverse representation of beauty, we are helping to change the way women are represented, which is proven to have a positive impact on how confident women feel in their appearance,” said Sophie van Ettinger, global vice president at Dove.

“This project really drove home how difficult it is to promote real beauty in advertising. Even when offering Dove’s real beauty women to brands at no cost at all. Hopefully, this campaign will encourage many more to genuinely do something about this problem,” added Tomas Ostiglia, executive creative director, LOLA MullenLowe Madrid.

Back in India, Dove released the #StopTheBeautyTest campaign last month (February), wherein it called out the unrealistic beauty standards women face during arranged marriage meetings.